476 HISTORY OF PERSIA CHAP. return, the Customs and, indeed, almost all the resources of the Empire were to be pledged. This concession was granted to Baron Julius de Reuter, a naturalized British subject, whose scheme involved the floating of several companies to work the vast enterprise. With a na'ive ignorance of European politics, the Shah started at this juncture on his first European tour, and he was surprised and disappointed to find that strong indigna- tion prevailed in the highest quarters at Petrograd against this extraordinary concession. In England His Majesty was equally disappointed to find apathy on the subject where he had expected to find enthusiasm. The feeling of Persia was also entirely against the surrender to Europeans of such far-reaching control, and on this occasion public opinion was entirely sound. Consequently, upon the Shah's return to Teheran, the concession was annulled. The Opening of the Karun, 1888.—Among the con- cessions granted by Nasir-u-Din was one by which the lower Karun was opened to commerce.1 This was greeted with enthusiasm in the British Press ; but when it is understood that the stretch of river actually opened was only one hundred and seventeen miles in length, equivalent to rather less than eighty miles by land, the small im- portance of the concession that had been gained becomes apparent. Nor did the special regulations fail to lessen the value of what the Shah had reluctantly conceded. By the Treaty of Turkomanchai Europeans are allowed cc des maisons pour les habiter, et des magasins pour y d£poser leurs merchandises." But by the retrograde "KarunRegu- lations" we learn that "il est formellement interdit de construire, sur les rives de la Karoun, des Mtiments tels que entrep6ts de charbon ou de marchandise, boutiques, caravans&rails, ateliers, etc." It is thus evident that the Shah was ill-advised, and wished to take away with one hand what he had conceded with the other. Much credit is due to Messrs. Lynch Brothers for undertaking to act as pioneers under such unfavourable conditions. Not only was the Persian Government t * Vide Curzon's Persia, chap. xxv. and Ten Thousand Miles, etc., chaps, xxi. and xxii.